From your Parisian

Sharing my newest discoveries as I float through the streets of Paris. Restaurants, bars, events, all reviewed for you with love, from your Parisian.


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Paris Secrets: My top 5 garden-like restaurants and cafés to escape the city vibe

I love living in a city like Paris but there are times when I crave the feeling of lounging in my backyard, under a tree, with a drink and a good book. Summertime back home in Canada often involves attending barbecues or bringing dinner out into the garden to enjoy with family and friends. Yes, there are many beautiful parks where you can have a picnic of your own, but there are few restaurants or cafés where you can order something nice to eat and enjoy it, surrounded by trees and plants, without leaving the city.Jardin Renoir_Paris Most cafés/restaurants in Paris do have their terrasses but they are often on the sidewalk of sometimes busy streets with cars or masses of people passing by. Don’t get me wrong, people watching in Paris is super fun, except when you feel the need for a little vegetation and an escape from the noise and frenzy of the city. For those moments, I would like to share with you a list of some relatively unknown places where you can buy food or drinks and enjoy them in a garden-like environment without leaving the comfort of the péripherique…as let’s face it: most Parisians don’t enjoy venturing out into the suburbs if they don’t have to!!

So, here they are:

A la Folie: BBQ and party under the treesA la folie_ParisHidden at the North end of the Parc de la Villette, this bar and club is the place to be this summer and fall! It has a huge terrace surrounded by trees and complete with large picnic tables, perfect for meeting up with friends after work for a drink. If that wasn’t already good enough, they also have some delicious food choices, including an outdoor barbecue that cooks up tasty dishes of pork, sea bream, veggies, and a large selection of beef, available in three sizes: “un peu” (a little),” beaucoup” (a lot), and “à la folie” (after the name of this establishment, which roughly translates to madly…or in this case a crazy amount (1kg) of meat). If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, they also have delicious salads, sandwiches, and baked treats. Oh! And did I mention that there’s a dance floor inside that really heats up in the evening? Basically, this is THE place to spend a night (or until 2am, when it closes) eating, drinking and/or dancing under the trees.

Where :

Parc de La Villette
26 avenue Corentin Cariou
75019 Paris

Café Renoir: A charming place to read a bookJardin renoir_Paris_2I only discovered this lovely spot at the top of Montmartre recently but it was definitely love at first sight. Perhaps it was the fact that Auguste Renoir (one of my favorite artists) painted two of his masterpieces while on the premises, or that Sacre-Coeur (my favorite building in Paris) is located right behind it, or maybe it is simply because the garden has several areas to relax and hide from the hectic outside world. You also have a wonderful view of the sloping Clos Montmartre vineyard, that borders the garden, which is rather unique. Although you do have to pay a 2-4 Euro fee to enter the garden, I believe that it is well worth it. Their café offers a variety of drinks as well as cakes, pastries and light lunches, perfect for a chill afternoon of drawing, writing or reading (trust me, you will feel inspired). If you’re an art lover, then a tour of the museum will also interest you, as Montmartre’s history is retold through various exhibits and you can even visit Renoir’s atelier and travel back in time.

Where:

Musée de Montmartre et Jardins Renoir
12 Rue Cortot
75018 Paris
+33 (0) 1 49 25 89 39

Les Mondes Bohèmes: Eating in your backyardles mondes bohemes_ParisI have been here several times (and have even celebrated my Birthday here), so I can safely say that this is one of my favorite restaurants to visit in the summer. It is all about the outdoor covered terrace that is shaded by the canopy of two large trees and tangled vines and bordered by bamboo plants. You really feel as if you are in a friend’s garden, with the hanging flower pots and the colorful watering cans and sparkling lights only adding to the overall magic that is this spot. The food itself is also very good. They serve classic bistro dishes like burgers, steaks, salads and roasted camembert cheese (yessss please) at reasonable prices! They also have a long drink menu to please everyone, so don’t be surprised if you end up spending the entire evening here. A true hidden gem in the East of Paris!

Where:
31 rue des Vignoles
75020 Paris
+33 (0)1 43 48 69 38

Hôtel particulier Montmartre: Fancy brunch or cocktails in a secret gardenHotel particulier_ParisThis luxurious hotel and its garden are like something from a fairytale! Located in Montmartre and only accessible via a private passageway (you have to ring a doorbell to even have access to the passageway) this garden is the definition of secluded. I admit that this is the priciest option on my list (with brunch being 38 euros/person), but for a special occasion this place is sure to impress. Plus, as staying at the hotel isn’t an option for me (until of course I win the lottery…*it will so happen one day*), being able to visit the gardens for a coffee or tea is one way to enjoy this special place in Montmatre without going broke. You can even drop by for a cocktail in the evening between 6pm and 2am, as they have a very sexy cocktail bar that opens up into the gardens. And Pssss: don’t miss a very lovely Eiffel Tower viewing spot from just outside the hotel gates!

Where:

Pavillon D, 23 Avenue Junot
75018 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 41 81 40

Musée de la vie romantique: Tea or coffee with someone specialmusee de la vie romantique_jardin_parisMost of you have probably already visited this salon de thé as it is always mentioned in the “top romantic places in Paris” lists, but if you haven’t yet… well, what are you waiting for? While the garden itself is very small, if you are lucky enough to grab a table, you can enjoy a coffee with a tartine or piece of cake surrounded by rose bushes, shrubs and trees. It has a very Romeo and Juliette feeling to it…but without the epic tragedy at the end! While you’re there, you might as well check out the small but elegant museum, as it displays some pretty furniture, jewelery, and works of art from the Romantic period.

Where: 

Hotel Scheffer-Renan
16, rue Chaptal
75009 Paris

With this list you can definitely find some shade on a hot day in Paris. I think I’m going to head out to one of these places now! 😉 If you know of any other restaurants/cafés in Paris that are hidden in gardens or surrounded by trees, I would love to hear from you! 🙂

 

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The Best Gift for Foodies in Paris: Le Food Trip Food Passport

I’ll admit it: I’m a total foodie! Discovering new restaurants in Paris is a thrill for me, I spend hours scrolling through Instagram looking at pictures of food and noting down the restaurants I must try next, I love avocado toast and bubble tea (this is purely FYI), I know that one of the reasons I have no savings is that I eat out far too often, when I travel to a new destination I strive to research in advance the local restaurant scene so that I don’t waste time in a tourist trap (nothing upsets me more), and I am extremely happy when eating an amazing meal (preferably with friends who are equally pleased).

I was therefore very excited when I received a Food Trip Food Passport from my co-workers as one of my goodbye gifts last month. Le Food Trip Food Passport is an amazing idea that involves discovering the city via its local food scene. It is basically a passport with 6-12 stickers and a map that pinpoints the various foodie locations (25 choices) to visit around the city. Each location is a food shop, bakery, wine bar or other food-related establishment. You choose where to go and, in exchange for one of your stickers, you receive a sample of one of their specialties. Translation: FREE FOOD SAMPLES!!!!lefoodtrip_foodpassportWhile I could rave about all the cool places I visited forever, here is a quick summary of all the yummy food I got to try:

A delicious « citronnade » éclair from L’Atelier de l’éclair: It was hard to choose an éclair from the pastry rainbow in their display case but I definitely made the right choice. The lemon and lime cream inside the choux pastry tasted like key lime pie filling (which I looooove) and it was topped with a sweet lemon glaze, lime zest, and the cutest little meringues.  All of their éclairs (4, 90 Euros each) are works of art and I will definitely be back to try others.latelier de leclair_paris_foodtripBeaufort cheese tasting at La COOP: The Beaufort cooperative has several stores in France but only one location in Paris. This store sells various products from the Savoy region but specializes in Beaufort, the cheese made from the unpasteurized milk of cows that graze in the French Alps. Sound delicious? Well it is, and I got to try two types of this popular cheese: Beaufort d’été (summer), with a lighter more floral taste, and Beaufort d’hiver (winter), that was slightly stronger than the summer version. We sat down at one of their tables and ordered a glass of Chablis to wash down the generous serving of cheese that was offered by the lovely ladies of this shop.la coop_paris_foodtripCured meat from A la main: This food store specializes in products from Corsica! One of the owners carefully sliced me some Corsican sausage made from Corsican black pig meat and it was delicious, with a slight peppery taste and a little stronger than a regular saucisson. I looked around their boutique and ended up buying a jar of Corsican beefsteak tomato ketchup: it tastes like a mix between regular ketchup and a tomato chutney. I’m sure that all of their products are amazing!a la main_paris_foodtripA slice of Comté cheese on toast from L’affineur Affiné: This cheese shop is different from most as it has a seating area at the back which offers customers the chance to sit down and enjoy a selection of their cheeses (and yes, they have a nice wine list too) in addition to other freshly prepared dishes. The owners are very knowledgeable and can explain the difference between a Comté and a Beaufort. They even offer a cheese-filled brunch on Sundays. This place is truly a cheese lover’s paradise!laffineur affine_paris_foodtripA glass of white wine from Les Petits Domaines: It wouldn’t be a Parisian food tour without a glass of wine! This little cave à vin (wine store) has a great selection of French wines (for all budgets). Isabelle, the owner, who just celebrated Les Petits Domaine’s third anniversary knows all about the wines in her boutique as she carefully selects wines from small winegrowers and visits vineyards regularly in order to find only the best. I tried a nice glass of white wine from Provence that was dry (I can’t stand sweet wines) but with a lovely floral undertone. This is a great place to pick up a bottle for a picnic at Champs de Mars (literally only 200 meters away) or to participate in a wine tasting session (offered on Saturdays).les petits domaines_paris_foodtripA filled waffle from Méert: So this was one of the stops that I was already familiar with, but it’s hard not to have heard of this famous chocolate, sweets and pastry house known for its waffles. The beginnings of Méert go back to 1677 in Lille but their thin waffles, filled with a generous amount of vanilla cream frosting are still famous today. A little too sweet for my liking but I brought my boyfriend along, who loves filled waffles, and let him enjoy one of his favorite treats. meert_paris_foodtrip.jpgChocolate sampling at Ara chocolat: One of the most interesting stops on my journey was this tiny chocolate shop that sells authentic organic chocolate. The owners are very knowledgeable (I was given a detailed explanation of the entire chocolate making process) and they make their chocolate bars on the premises using cocoa beans from various places such as Costa-Rica, Peru and Belize. You can smell the chocolate as soon as you walk through the door and it was pretty fun getting to try the various chocolates, all of which had distinct flavors. ara chocolat_paris_foodtripThree samples of iced tea from Kodama. I love tea (I have to say I drink much more tea than I do coffee) so this little tea shop definitely won me over. The two owners create their own mixtures of teas with various fruits and spices and as it was a hot day I was offered three samples of iced teas. My favorite was “poids plume”, an organic mix of Sencha green tea, basil and citrus fruits. No sugar is added and no sugar is needed. Their iced teas are perfectly balanced and so incredibly refreshing on a hot day.kodoma_paris_foodtrip3 Mini cookies from Jean Hwang Carrant: Jean is an American expat who started her cookie shop when she couldn’t find any good cookies in Paris. Her cookies are delicious and very creative, with flavors including matcha with white chocolate, black sesame, and nutella. I have to say that she is also one of the friendliest people that I met on the food tour and she was kind enough to give me 5 mini cookies (thank you Jean :)) instead of 3! jean hwang carrant_paris_foodtripA mojito macaron from Les Artizans: After seeing the usual suspects I opted for the most original macaron on the menu with its lime and mint flavor giving it the taste of a mojito. In addition to their macarons they also have a beautiful selection of French pastries and are equally a bistro serving carefully prepared French dishes. A great place for lunch!artizan_paris_foodtripA little pot of jam from La chambre aux confitures: I chose their raspberry champagne jam after browsing through their huge selection of jams and sampling quite a few. It was very hard to choose as they have all the classics (i.e. strawberry, apricot, and fig) in addition to more creative concoctions such as a mix of banana, rhubarb and passion fruit. While they have several locations in Paris (and in other French cities), their jams, chutneys and honeys are all made in France and therefore make great gifts.la chambre aux confituresA mini chocolate cake from l’Épicerie Fine Rive Gauche: This little specialty food store can be found just off of rue Cler and is packed with various foodie treats such as sardines, patés, mustards… AND fondant baulois: a chocolate fondant cake originally from La Baule (a posh coastal town near Nantes). There was only the gluten-free version left (made with rice flour) but this compact and moist chocolate cake was delightful and a great way to end my food tour!épicerie fine rive gauche_paris_foodtrip.jpg What’s best about the Food Passport (apart from all the free food)? You get to discover some amazing foodie spots in the city while learning some fun foodie trivia (i.e. how the éclair got its name) and meeting the passionate people that sell the delicious food you are eating. Apart from two or three places that I was already familiar with, the rest were great discoveries. I also hope to visit the places that were equally listed in the passport but that I didn’t get to (it’s nothing personal, it was just so hard to pick only 12).

It is, without doubt, the perfect gift for a foodie like myself. It is also a unique way to take a tour of the city. So, if you (or a friend) are thinking of coming to Paris (or Lyon) anytime soon, make sure to order your very own Food Passport!

Happy eating! 🙂

For more information, or to order a Food Trip Food Passport for Paris or Lyon, check out the Food Trip website: https://www.le-food-trip.com/en/

 

 


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Paris Coffee Shops: Café Pimpin

There is an endless list of things that excite me in Paris, with the opening of a new eatery in my neighborhood being high up on that list! It’s been over a month now that I have been passing by Café Pimpin and watching its exterior slowly evolve into the adorable, white tiled facade with minty green awning that it is today. It finally opened last Wednesday so I decided to check it out with a friend on Saturday!cafe-pimpin_paris_interiorThe weather was pretty crap this weekend (rainy and cold) so the windows were completely steamed up, preventing onlookers from seeing what was going on inside. As we entered we were greeted by soft music, the sound of a blender, juicer or coffee grinder (I honestly can’t tell the difference), and the buzz of people talking and eating. The space is white and bright with vases of freshly cut flowers, potted plants and cookbooks (including an Ottolenghi) dotted about and an exposed stone wall on one side that adds a nice rustic touch. Owned by two friends, Clémentine and Marie, Café Pimpin is visually appealing with a soft and feminine interior that instantly puts you at ease. It wasn’t long before one of the owners saw us, smiled and pointed to one of the tables against the wall.cafe-pimpin_paris_food-menuWe took a look at the menu and quickly decided on our game plan. We both ordered the juice of the day (apple, beetroot and various berries; 4.5€) along with an avocado toast (5€) and a toasted cheddar cheese and truffle ham sandwich (6€). The juice arrived first and the combination was tasty and refreshing, with what I think was a hint of ginger. Next came the avocado toast (cream cheese, crushed avocado, cilantro, alfalfa sprouts and black sesame seeds) and the truffle ham and cheddar toastie (think of a luxurious grilled cheese sandwich), served with a side salad. Everything was delicious!
cafe-pimpin_paris_avocado-toastcafe-pimpin_paris_truffle-ham-cheddar-toastieAll of the action takes place from behind a large counter at the back of the room and as we sat there, clients (and I’m assuming friends) entered to congratulate the ladies with a “bise” before sitting down and placing an order. At times, it became very busy and the staff appeared to be a little stressed, but for an opening Saturday that’s pretty understandable.cafe-pimpin_paris_coffee-and-treatsWe still had some room for dessert so we both ordered a coffee (I had a cappuccino; 4€) with a slice of lemon cake and a chocolate chip cookie (that was packed with gooey chunks of chocolate). The coffee is supplied by Parisian based roasters, Café Lomi, and goes perfectly with one of their freshly baked products displayed on the counter. Everything they serve here is made with ingredients that have clearly been chosen with care, which results in a menu of enticing and healthy choices.cafe-pimpin_paris_goldfishI really enjoyed my lunch at Café Pimpin and will definitely be back! The food and drinks are reasonably priced, when compared to other trendy coffee shops in Paris, and it’s just so close to my apartment that I won’t be able to stay away for too long. I’m particularly looking forward to sitting outside, when Spring arrives, on their picnic style tables. Oh, and in case you were wondering: Pimpin is the resident goldfish, who you will see happily swimming in his vase on the large wooden table inside. Welcome to the neighborhood Pimpin!cafe-pimpin_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

64 Rue Ramey

75018, Paris

+33 (0)1 46 06 97 25

Rating:

4 goldfish out of 5!

 


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Paris Restaurant Review: Canard & Champagne

The days are slowly getting shorter and colder here in Paris. On the positive side, this gives me the excuse to seek out restaurants serving warm and filling comfort food all over the city (it’s official: bikini body, bye bye)!Canard & Champagne is one of those restaurants, as it mixes deliciously prepared duck with champagne (a pretty awesome combo in my opinion) and is located in a beautiful covered passage (Passage des Panoramas) away from the cold. The exterior of the restaurant is truly gorgeous: its wooden facade carved with intricate designs gives you the impression that and you are in the presence of something from another era and very unique.canardchampagne_paris_exteriorThe decor inside is a mix of classy meets modern meets fun, as one of the walls is covered entirely with a huge black and white still from the movie Le Grand Restaurant, starring Louis de Funès (the much loved French actor). This wall matches perfectly with the geometric patterned tiled floor as well as the cute waiters, dressed in their white shirts and black bow ties, that glide effortlessly from one side of the room to the other as soon as you look in their direction (yes, they are very attentive). canardchampagne_paris_interiorAfter looking at the menu, our group of four all decided to take the 2 course meal with a glass of champagne for 32 Euros. If you want two glasses of bubbly the menu rises to 42 Euros, a little pricey, but as we all know its an expensive beverage (26 Euros without any drinks)! Next you have to select one of the two entrees: duck foie gras or duck terrine. Although I am not a fan of foie gras (*gasp*, I know! I’m a freak of nature here in France), I was pleasantly surprised by its rich and delicate taste and actually enjoyed this French delicacy, spread on top of a piece of crisp toast with a touch of apple chutney. canardchampagne_paris_menuThis light starter was followed by a perfectly cooked magret duck, pink in the middle and incredibly juicy. My knife cut into the tender duck breast like butter! Three sides are offered to accompany your duck: fries, seasonal vegetables or the seasonal purée…and here’s the best part: they are endless! So I started with a sweet potato purée, followed by a bowl of fries and finished off with a side of carrots, cauliflower and zucchini (to be healthy, of course). As the sides are served in rather small bowls, and therefore equally small portions, we had fun calling the waiters over to fetch us another helping throughout dinner! In case you’re wondering, one of my friends tried the confit duck and said that it was equally tasty.canardchampagne_paris_magret-duckUnfortunately, after overdosing on all of the side dishes, we didn’t have any room for dessert but the choices looked pretty tempting (such as profiteroles drizzled in chocolate or a dreamy lemon tart). I suppose I should talk about the champagne we had, which was also very good, and made for the restaurant by JM Séléque. I don’t know much about champagne but it was fruity and refreshing, with just enough bubbles to make me happy! I should also quickly mention the bathrooms (no…I’m not weird) that I found to be rather quirky; their walls were chalkboards covered in chalk-written messages and drawings of ducks. A little more tasteful then the usual words you read scribbled on public bathroom stalls! I left a little drawing of my own, washed my hands, then went back upstairs to join my friends who were paying the bill.canardchampagne_paris_passage-de-panoramasWhat more can I say? This place was a hit! Maybe not the best choice for vegetarians, but if you have friends visiting from out of town then this elegant but relaxed restaurant in Passage des Panoramas (thought to be the oldest covered passage in Paris) is sure to please. They also serve a yummy looking brunch on weekends, and Parisians: they deliver! 😉

Restaurant Details:

57 Passage des Panoramas

75002, Paris

+33 (0)9 81 83 95 69

http://frenchparadox.paris/fr/

Rating:

4 hot ducks out of 5!

 

 


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Fast Food, Fast Review: James Bun

So…the holidays are officially over! I was in Greece (which I will try to write about soon), and I must admit that it has been hard getting back into the rhythm of work and city life after lying on tranquil and gorgeous beaches for 2 weeks. One of the things that got me through these past few weeks at work has been thinking about what I’ll eat for lunch, so I thought I’d share with you a little eatery I recently discovered called James Bun, perfect for a tasty, quick lunch and open 7 days a week!James bun_Paris_interiorWalking into this restaurant, located right by Place de Clichy, you are greeted by the most lovely smell coming out of the kitchen! The cooks are all dressed in brightly colored patterned shirts and you can watch them expertly toss ingredients in large woks from where you are seated. The walls are covered in shelves filled with cups, sauces, and Asian food products, giving you the feeling of being far away from the European continent. James bun_Paris_MenuOn the menu are typical Vietnamese dishes, but with a French touch: pho, bo bun and bahn mi! My friend and I decided to go for one of their bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches that I love, but have not yet tried in Paris), as I wasn’t in the mood for noodles that day. We ordered one chicken (8.50 Euros) and one beef (9.50 Euros) bahn mi, so that we could try a bit of both! We also ordered a James-T each, an iced green tea with lime, ginger and fresh mint (4 Euros).James bun_paris_iced teaSoon we had two tall glasses of iced tea placed on the metal table in front of us, and I immediately fell in love with the floral paper straws! Seriously, how cute are they? The tea was very refreshing and perfectly sweetened, and soon after the sandwiches arrived. The French baguettes were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, the organic shredded carrots and sliced cucumbers gave a nice crunch, and the beef and chicken were exploding with fragrant flavors and cooked perfectly. I also really appreciated the large bunch of cilantro which I either stuffed into my sandwich or devoured on the spot. For those of you who don’t like cilantro (like my sister), it’s nice that it comes on the side, allowing you to quickly pass it on to someone who loves it (like me)! I should mention that there is also a veggie bahn mi, made with tofu, mushrooms and edamame. They have really thought of everyone when preparing the menu! James bun_paris_chicken bahn miJames bun_paris_beef bahn miAlthough I didn’t get a chance to try their pho or their bo buns this time, I did see a bowl or two on my way out and I can say that the portions are generous and that they look equally delicious. They have special nem rolls too, filled with organic quinoa, edamame, cilantro and “vache qui rit” (a spreadable cream cheese). Definitely need to try some of those next time!James bun_paris_tableJames bun_paris_exteriorJames Bun is open for lunch and dinner and, if that wasn’t enough, they even deliver via http://www.deliveroo.fr. The young and vibrant team is sure to impress you with their energy and good service! So make sure to check out this fun, creative and ecologically friendly restaurant as soon as possible. It is sure to put you and your tummy in a good mood!

Restaurant Details: 

10, bd des Batignolles
Paris, 75017
+33 (0)1 43 87 90 13
Rating:
4.5 bunches of cilantro out of 5!


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Paris Brunch Spots: Hardware Société

It’s Saturday morning and I am obviously already thinking about one of my favorite weekend activities: brunch! Two weeks ago I had the most amazing brunch at the new and very talked about Hardware Société, so I just have to tell you all about it. Located at the bottom of the steps that lead to the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, I can’t think of a nicer place for this Australian café to set have up their second shop in Paris (their first being in Melbourne). hardware society_paris_brunchI was prepared for a huge wait and lots of tourists, as it was a Saturday in Montmartre, but to my surprise when my friend K and I arrived at about 1pm, we were shown to our seats in only 2 minutes! Score! We walked past a wall covered in a burst of colorful butterflies and were shown to a little table in the slightly elevated seating area at the back of the room. I made a quick stop to the bathroom and was captivated by a little window that offered a whimsical view over the rooftops of Montmartre. hardware society_paris_interiorBack in my seat I took a look around and admired the stained glass doors attached on a wall and the pretty marble tables. The room was cheerful and full of sunlight and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I immediately ordered a matcha latté, because it’s rare a find in a Parisian café, then took a look at the mouthwatering list of menu items.hardware society_paris_menuhardware society_paris_matcha latteBeing a huge fan of eggs Benedict and of lobster I chose the lobster Benedict, served on a black sesame seed covered bun with a small salad (18, 50 Euros). K ordered the scallop and langoustine poached eggs on a smoked sourdough bun with light potato salad, leaks and dill (17,50 Euros). Both were delicious and beautifully presented, although I have to admit that the lobster Benedict was a little light on the lobster meat. My matcha latté was equally visually appealing: a graceful swan floating in a radiant yellow cup of creamy matcha green tea, placed on a bright blue saucer.hardware society_paris_lobster bennedict hardware society_paris_scallops and eggsAs you are quite close to your neighbours here, it allowed us to drool over the French toast dish that the two girls beside us had ordered. We hesitated for a moment but in the end both agreed that we needed to share the sweet special of the day: French toast with passion fruit curd, whipped cream, raspberries, kiwis, fresh passion fruit and adorned with meringue kisses and a sprinkling of icing sugar. HEAVEN on a plate! I could have eaten the whole thing myself, no problem!hardware society_paris_sweet specialSo, I think that I have accurately conveyed just how much I enjoyed my brunch here! The waitress that served us had a lovely Australian accent and we honestly felt like we were on holiday, somewhere far away from Paris. I loved the decor, including the wall covered in pretty floral tea cups by the bar, and I loved the overall laid-back, friendly atmosphere. The only down side is that the dishes are a little pricey, but the quality is definitely there. So if you’re a true foodie, then you need to give Hardware Société a try! Why not today? I know I can’t wait to come back for a second visit! hardware society_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

10 Rue Lamarck

75018, Paris

+33 (0)1 42 51 69 03

Rating:

4 cheery Australian accents out of 5


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Paris Restaurant Review: La Cave de L’Os à Moelle

The wet and cloudy weather is back in Paris, making me long for some tasty and warm home cooking. As I unfortunately do not have a nice French family to cook for me, I have had to look for other alternatives and La Cave de L’Os à Moelle is definitely a winner. Located in the middle of nowhere (or to be more exact, in the South of Paris by Métro station Balard!) and therefore undiscovered by most Parisians and tourists, this cozy wine bar/restaurant gives you a taste of simple French country cooking in a welcoming hideaway. The dining experience offered here is very unique, and when I was first introduced to the place with friends over four years ago I was pretty blown away. It consists of an all you can eat buffet of entrées, main courses and desserts for only 25 euros! Have I got your attention yet?cave de los a moelle_paris_tableThe brick walled room is small with only a few large wooden tables at the back and walls of crockery and bottles of wine proudly displayed for all to admire. The table is set when you arrive and already covered with various bowls of salads and terrines (or patés) along with crusty loaves of bread. These large dishes can be passed around your table and are often traded between tables, which makes it all the more fun. As soon as I sat down I immediately started loading my plate with a grated carrot and beetroot salad seasoned with a light mustard dressing. I’m not a big fan of patés but I tried a little of the terrine de campagne (country paté made from pork with onions and various herbs) before my other friends grabbed it away from me.cave de los a moelle_paris_ovenNext we moved on to the old fashioned stove top at the very back of the room where casseroles and cast iron pots filled with tasty dishes are kept warm. The menu changes every night but this time included a shepherd’s pie made with tender pork, a vegetable pot-au-feu (stew), roasted baby potatoes, pork cheeks and tripe! As you can see, they are rather rustic traditional recipes that you don’t often encounter in other Parisian restaurants and, apart from the tripe which I didn’t try (sorry, it’s just not my thing), everything was very nice.cave de los a moelle_paris_dinnerMy favorite part of dinner, however, involves the long dessert bar that literally stretches the entire length of the room. This dessert buffet features many comforting favorites such as creamy rice pudding (took a big scoop of that), homemade apple sauce (yes please), warm apple crumble (love it), various cakes (added a thick slice of chocolate cake to my plate) and île flottante (or floating island, which is basically meringue floating on a sea of custard). There is also what looks like a little chicken cage filled with various French cheeses that you can also add to your plate. At this point, although you start to feel full, the urge to return and get seconds is just too strong. Your mind says no but your tummy says yes…or atleast that’s how it went for me!cave de los a moelle_paris_apple crumblecave de los a moelle_paris_dessert plateSo if you want to gather around a rustic table with family and friends and enjoy some simple French cooking then this is your place! It’s definitely not classy fine dining, but the atmosphere is warm and welcoming and they have an amazing (i.e. huge) selection of wine…something you probably wouldn’t find at your Auntie Hugette’s place! I should mention that just across the street there is L’Os à Moelle, their more elegant restaurant serving fancier dishes (I’ve never been, but I’m sure it is good). For La Cave à l’Os à Moelle, I suggest making a reservation, especially for large groups, as once you are settled you can spend the entire evening there with whoever you may call family.

cave de los a moelle_paris_exterior

Restaurant Details:

181 rue Lourmel

75015 PARIS

+33 (0)1 45 57 28 28

http://osamoelle-restaurant.com/index.php

Rating:

4 huge terrines out of 5